Health officials confirm first case of coronavirus within Tennessee


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee confirmed the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) within the state at a press conference Thursday morning.

The impacted patient is an adult man from Williamson County who is currently isolated at home with mild symptoms. He traveled out of state recently, but not out of the country, and returned four or five days ago.


Republican Gov. Bill Lee on Wednesday activated a task force to coordinate the state’s efforts to prevent and treat coronavirus.

The move comes after Tennessee’s top officials recently warned the state will likely soon see its cases of COVID-19 as the disease continues to spread. To date, no one in Tennessee has tested positive for coronavirus.

Lee’s office says the task force will oversee precautionary measures, resource allocation, emergency response plans should the need arise.

Members include Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn and Nashville International Airport CEO Doug Kreulen.

Other members range from representatives from Amazon, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Hospital Association, AARP Tennessee and the Tennessee Farm Bureau.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized Tennessee to begin testing for coronavirus, but state health officials say testing supplies are low.

As of Wednesday, more than 120 cases have been reported in the U.S. and 11 people have died, 10 in Washington state and one in California. Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 90,000 people and caused more than 3,100 deaths, most of them in China.

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